So, here’s another ultra marathon mental tip that I’ve found really useful (if you missed the first one you can find it here). This one is about giving yourself the mental confidence that you can go further.
I’ve found what really works for me is to do a decent mileage run early on in the day (morning or lunchtime) then another run (any distance) later on.
The key is to do the first run such that you’re pretty tired – that could be distance based (long run), or effort based (a workout). Then for your second run, you already have empty legs. It doesn’t matter about the pace, or the distance of this second run (probably the slower/easier the better), but the act of starting running again, on already tired legs is the part that pays dividends.
The mental strength that I get from the knowledge that regardless of how far I have run in the morning, I can still get going again and churn out another few miles is incredible.
This is simply learned behavior, so the more often you do it then more you believe, the more confidence you. Obviously the next step from this is run morning, lunchtime and evening – the additional confidence from a third run of the day is not just double, but exponentially greater.
One big caution with this – you will be running on tired legs, be very careful. I wouldn’t do this too regularly as the risk of injury as well as over-training is increased.
Your mileage may vary, this works for me but may not for you – I am in no way an expert, if you’re looking for specific training advice you should consult a professional / coach.
Got your own tip that you want to share? I’d love to hear it, post it in the comments below.